Lifelines and the Mail…

February 24, 2017

I think I’m growing up knit-wise…I actually willing inserted a lifeline in this sock….before I screwed it up….I forgot my undershirt today, but I remembered I needed lifelines. No judgement, right:-).

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(A previous photo, before I learned about lifelines…next week, I promise). See all that yarn, that’s how it all began…with help from Putzer, Briannag is on deck, and Zeus-y is napping through the game;-)

So, I finished row 20, and showed off my other sock in class(that I need to remember to match,) and I got one-quarter of the leg done(or thereabouts). I remembered the lifeline, and forgot the photo….let’s see what I have so far.

However, I checked my mail this morning, as I’ve been waiting on books for almost a full week…(I have to give them a couple of days to start arriving), and our postal service believes they get President’s day off. I didn’t, but they did–I called unfairness, but I did want my test results. With an injured ankle, I still wanted to know how I did, so I paid for parking and hoped the ankle would heal.

Okay, I did well on the test and the results were posted before the weekend, but the school perfectionist in me wanted to know which questions I got wrong. The instructor did not disappoint. Unfortunately, the incorrectly keyed problem did not help me; however, finding the error in the statistics test probably did.

003How it all began….Zeus-y must help….

Alas, the next question is: How do you make a reading knitter or knitting reader happy? You deliver those knitting books by mail, that she’s checked for nearly every day–including President’s day, because she forgot there was no mail on President’s day….. Discussion of said President’s over–no politics beyond days off belong on my blog. But my knitting books arrive-because I don’t have enough irons in the fire  as it is.

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My mailbox gifts today…the postman may be forgiven….Prepare to be charmed.

So, the highlight of my day(perhaps my week), was the receipt of these books before I went to class this morning. In case I kept the books too small, I have picked Knitting on the Road: Sock Patterns for the Traveling Knitter, by Nancy Bush. I’m working on her Knot Socks now. I also picked Zen and the Art of Knitting. By Bernadette Murphy. This looks like a fascinating read. I also received a non-knitting book–The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff. I’m prepared to be charmed.

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They beauty of working a pattern four times….I can re-use pictures when I didn’t just go re-take the….(minus the lifeline I was bragging about).

So, I finished one repeat of the chart, inserted a lifeline and received some books in the mail this week. I’m also onto the heel flap of the second Terpander sock. (No photo of that either, as I was slacking today).
I hope your week to come will be as charmed as mine…and if mine isn’t charmed, it’s because of an exam, not the knitting….

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Actually, I lost: Here’s the take from last week, Friday evening, I think…

The struggle is real…. See, I still have six more rows of forty stitches…. They’re almost done. I want them done on time(they will be), but I may run out of yarn in the meantime. At least on this roll…. I have some left from the other roll, and I will have to decide the best way to attach it(and hope it looks reasonable, but I think it’s gonna be close).

Back to the present…

It was close…so close, I technically lost. Luckily I did have some on the other roll and the blend doesn’t look too bad…I don’t think Lizzie noticed. She was mostly happy with the result and the warming birthday gift–though next time, I’ll have to make them bigger and let her hand them down to a mini-me. In the meantime, she’s got warm legs and a new purse and I’ve cast on the second sock….

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Cast on of new, but familiar purple socks….This is keeping my sanity hanging by a….nah….probably not after this week…

Yes, my purple socks are no longer suffering from second sock syndrome. I almost cast on the cowl I could use some days this February, but it’s been an exhausting week and I wanted something familiar. In addition, it was about time. Besides, I may be moving on to a hat this week for a friend, if she remembers the yarn. I’m half tempted to go pick out yarn for her and just make it. We’ll see what happens.

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Squib, snuggling a favorite sweater that I hope will one day match the Terpander socks I don’t have an updated photo of….

As for the pretty pink Terpander socks, I sought out advice on http://www.knittingparadise.com and was told my ladders(once I got a good enough photo of them) looked just fine. I’ve yet to start the second heel as it’s been a busy and stressful week. I’ve made it through three exams in two days and somehow still found energy to write this blog tonight….

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Current progress on the second sock…

I probably just need sleep, but there was Valentine’s day this week and my dear James treated me to dinner, and(I forgot to get the photo), not one book, but two–he really does know the way to my heart and keeping me up past my bedtime. And yes, it is the signed, hardcover first edition of Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb and it’s just as gripping as the others in the series. I love this series.

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Because if I took J.D. Robb to class, I wouldn’t get any studying done, at least, not until I finished the book. I might not even leave when class was done…

In the meantime, I’d better keep up on next week’s homework, and hope the article I have to choose from some specific type of journal with a specific type of format….but clear as mud to me is finally a correct one and I can get the summary done. Perhaps we should just have to read academic journals and keep a record of summaries of one of their articles as they are published–sounds like a better exercise than finding articles on any topic you want, only to repeatedly hear, “Not that one.” Alas, such are the woes of an undergrad…back to knitting and reading, right after I accomplish some more homework so I don’t have to do it all on Sunday.

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How the fairies hid my place markers from me…they don’t have to work very hard at this, you see….

“And, why did she take photos of the place markers?” Why, yes. Yes I did. The fairies finally returned them.

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For now, they’re safely tucked into the pocket of my knitting bag. I wonder how long that will last….

Arrrgggghhh! Ladders!

February 10, 2017

That’s right, you heard me, ladders have formed in this sock….and I’m at a loss. I’m working on the “Terpander” pattern in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class book and I began the first heel this weekend. As I finished it, I realized the weight of the socks had caused ladders to form. I was warned, but not told how to correct them. I even went to Silver’s Sock Knitting tutorial and looked them up. Nothing about ladders there either. I thought I’d mostly gotten beyond ladders. But since you are only knitting on one side at a time, it’s difficult to prevent the ladders.

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Not that I wish to show you my ladders, but I’ll get a better pic of them later, so you can see that I’m certainly not perfect. Luckily, these are for my feet, but this Smooshy yarn deserves better.

So, Now I’m left wondering one of two things: Should I try to re-knit the heel or should I simply forge on and hope for the best when I join the two rounds? Choices, choices. Perhaps I’ll ask at knitting paradise. There are many sock knitters there. Someone may have some good ideas.

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1 heel finished, forgive the terrible photos…I’ll try to re-take and edit, once I finish some studying tonight.

In addition, I’m working to keep off the naughty bench this week. My youngest niece’s birthday is this upcoming Thursday and her gift isn’t done. I thought I had two more rounds left, but it turns out I have three. So I knit like a madwoman before classes today–then I committed a cardinal sin. I put the knitting down mid-row. (Gasp). More wine, anyone?

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These are the re-knit item…with two full more rounds and six rows of knit 5, purl 5…because some rules are really meant to be broken….I really am getting there…just hope I get there in time;-).

I messed up and I think it’s best to rip out this row and re-knit it. Plus, class was starting and I needed to pay attention and write. It gets rather difficult to write notes and knit at the same time…. I probably shouldn’t admit how I know that… but you guys can imagine with me, right.

Well, I should get back to studying for my exams. It feels as if that’s all I’ve been doing this week and Putzer seconds, but I have attempted progress on a quilt…after studying…in which I should know better. Those darned rules about knitting or sewing(even on a machine) while tired, are rules for a reason, and this time it wasn’t to break them (in which I thought I performed far better than last time). Alas, my latest dilemma is recorded on a new blog(when I should have been studying, but really needed a break). It’s called Quilting Journeys and is over here at Quilting Journeys..

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Can you believe this is backwards…and technically sideways as well…the purple goes inside on the triangles and the green print goes outside and down the middle…(never sew tired is not a rule that’s meant to be broken).

Enjoy the view while you can. We’ll see where these journeys take us. In the meantime, let’s hope my studying journeys take me to an A on the exams (All three of them, over two days–my instructors have found the key to true evil).

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Murder Mystery Quilt January Block 1 done: From Tiny Seeds.

However, evil instructors aside…I managed to finish my Murder Mystery Block #1 for a Mystery quilt combined with a murder mystery I signed up for.  I wish I would have gone a little darker on the center portion ( did have a darker green), but I’m working with it and hoping it comes out well. Now, to get back to studying…and work on the February blocks when I’m not exhausted from the books I have to explore.

…or never found in the first place…. It sounds as if it may be time to organize things… but if you know me, you know how lofty a goal that really is…especially in the craft room. I can see it now…(p.s. no photos of the unorganized craft room, sorry).

I go to put away the beige linen I was going to make a pantsuit with, and find the ribbon I was going to edge it with or the pattern… and I’m off. Or, maybe I get that put away, and find another fabric I had plans for, only the one that matches it is on the scrapbook desk, which I mean to clean off…so I take off another fabric or two and find that one, and now I have another project to start…or, more likely, I find a card I was going to finish for a friend who likely needs it, and I start getting out my scrapbook stuff…I have an open surface nearby, right? No, uh…perhaps I should clean some more. Nah, I’ll just move this stuff and work on this card….(and they tell me I don’t have ADD.)  When it comes to organizing, I don’t know what else to call it.

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Literally current progress on my my current project…circular needles have a mind of their own.

However, I can remember a lot of numbers, add them up quickly and do odd math problems(at least multiplication in my head). My job requires it, as well as remember most of about a zillion rules a night(three nights a week.) Note to self, it is not a good idea to study statistics while dealing Poker. There is no brain break in that set up. Poker is a lot of rules, and a lot of statistics happening right in front of you. Statistics is still in the easy part, and my brain was still fried. The Nature of Language book is going with me to work now, trust me on this.

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I don’t normally stop mid-row(ever!), but those blasted fairies are holding my place markers hostage. Ideas, anyone?

So, what did I lose and how did I lose it, (and we’re hopefully not talking about my marbles-I simply quit trying to replace them)?  First, it was the place markers I need to knit the heels of my two at a time toe-up really pretty Smooshy and cushy bright pink yarn. I had them. I set them somewhere I’d remember them, or put them back where I found them. They have successfully disappeared again. The fairies aren’t willing to make a trade, apparently either. I think they’re onto or don’t understand what I mean when I suggest I can offer them shiny jump rings for ring toss. Or they took those long before they stole away with my place markers…so the socks are in limbo.

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Projects half done….okay, mostly done….I admit, I ran out of pink yarn(and it’s acrylic so I refused to buy more…now I need to figure out the collar).  Pattern here on ABC Knitting Patterns. I did not love knitting these…and the pattern on the arm is a bit confusing. But they look nice, if you don’t run out of yarn.

Then I was planning to start this cowl I designed. It’s going to be so pretty…and once my youngest niece’s birthday gift is done, I can…except I’ve lost the size 8 set of knitting needles I wish to design it on. I’m thinking of buying a circular set….I may have to look up some pattern suggestions for knitting this on circulars though. I thought I’d found them when I uncovered a PHD (project half done) in the chair and realized, much like my cleaning above, I should just sew the snaps on these and sew up the seams and gift these dresses already. But I pulled the needles out, and realized they’re another set of size 4 needles. Does anyone remember what I used the size 8’s on last? I still have no idea where they made off to.

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The other current project, that I don’t dare stop mid-row…I need to have this one done soon…these are on ravelry.com and quite fun to knit as well. I did make an adjustment, as I dislike K1, P1…so I made the cuffs K5, P5 to keep elasticity and create a neat effect going into the horseshoe.

I’d say that’s all, but I’m likely forgetting something (like which pattern I last used the size 8 needles on). In the meantime, I’m going to pour a glass of wine, do some homework and get back to knitting the birthday gift. I’m also giving myself a break, as it’s been a tough week here with a funeral for my dear James’ dad. I didn’t know him as well, but I certainly grieved for the loss of a bond that meant the world to dear James. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but Bill Sr. still passed over far quicker than any of us could imagine. I did get some decent knitting time in this week, as well as somewhat caught up on homework.

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The close-up view of some of the horse-shoe pattern. I’ll get better photos of it next week, as there’s another section I wish to show off.

I almost forgot about poor Briannag. The night we came home from the funeral and family gathering, we found she had a puffy ear. It was hard to tell at first, as her ear is normally half folded in one way or another, but she got a visit to the vet where he called it a hematoma and ordered surgery. She came through fine, but they’re keeping her one more night to save us the clean up…(for which I’m kind of thankful). She will be home bright and early in the morning. There will be extra Kong treats in the morning.

Briannag is our brindle Pittie who loves to inspect my yarn, model my socks and dearly hopes I’m knitting something for her. She’s not the most careful with soft toys, especially when little brother Zeus(the brown boxer) helps her with them.

Fortunately for myself, tips were good last week (dear James usually makes a little more, working full time and overseeing our skills) and our taxes have been filed, because pricey vet bills aren’t always easy to cover.  In the meantime, if anyone is in cahoots with my fairies, please let them know I’d like the place markers back…I only need a few of them. Thanks. Or I may just have to go search out the jump rings and the jewelry supplies and hope I don’t make my own too heavy…I’m beginning to see a theme here;-). More wine, friends, or tea if you prefer?

There is knitting, too, I promise….

Allow me to pour us a beverage and explain. I’m having wine, what will you have?

After my nap, I sewed and then sewed some more, then I ripped out some stitches of misplaced hexies, and went back to sewing them in the right place…darned hexies. I was also sent home disgustingly early on Christmas Eve which left my bank account weeping a bit more than expected this year. The snow arrived early this year, which is better than late, when you are not driving home in it too early on Friday night as well….Alas, let’s get back to the sewing I went right back to with the extra time I now had on my hands. I still had tweaks to sew, hexies to place and part of a border to attach….as well as a letter to type and print which would be delivered explaining the quilt top.

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Jamie…wondering what he might do with a planetarium (it’s science, he’ll be fine…).

Where’s the super-secret quilt top? What a great question, I’ll get right on that. About 4AM Christmas morning, I put the quilt top in a huge box with some batting choices, the letter and a small, wrapped package of chocolate and popcorn. The child shouldn’t walk away empty handed,after all. As my dear niece, Jessica, worked to undo all my pretty 4AM wrapping, she guessed there was a dress in the box. Unless it was a ball gown replica (one I’d shown her back in October), it wouldn’t have needed such a large box. It was a good guess on her part, and perhaps success on my part. (I have sewn her dresses before, mostly when she was younger). Once she got the box opened and began to lift the quilt out, I had my sister in law step in and assist with the unveiling and handed Jessica my camera. Forgive the photo, I often forget to direct when I’m not behind the camera. Besides, most of my subjects are cats, dogs, and yarn…they have ears only for food, and the yarn, doesn’t listen at all, much like the cats.

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The reveal….there’s more to go….but here’s what I’ve been working on forever….or the last three years…if that isn’t loving someone more, I don’t know what is;-).

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That being said, the quilt top is still a wee bit unfinished and my dear Dad was the first to point out the holes left in the quilt top. (I wanted to shout, “You should have seen them yesterday!” I didn’t, I was good.) He suggested the holes were arm-holes…you see them…clever, but not quite. I’m quite aware I have more work to do. But once it was unveiled, and I returned to work Monday to double my normal hours this week, including an extra Tuesday, I decided it was now okay to take a slight break from the quilt top. Besides, there is still more to update.

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Said quilt top…Spindly legs, and all…spindly term courtesy of Jessica…

I also presented the cable socks to Lizzie(the younger niece), that I’d been working on for much of fall semester. I promised feet photos and forgot them. I’m torn between you have to wait until my pair is done or I’ll have her pose her feet next time…then we have to figure out the best way to photograph someone else’s feet….

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Future footwork…(it’s not as if I have three or more of these irons in the fire;-))…

I also meant to unveil mittens to my dad. They did not get finished, not even the first one. Hence why I was on the naughty bench all week, in addition to the quilt top–’When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.” –Mae West.

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Where the mitts are this week….(they didn’t fit…). I’m glad I got the “alternate” gift…perhaps one day, I or Lizzie will love them;-)….

Luckily, I’d received a generous surprise gift card and snuck off the the J-store (Jo-Ann Fabrics) to purchase some last minute gifts….(yes, I know better). While dear James’ journal came in before the big day, he still appreciated the simple hard-cover journal of a similar size I procured for him which may travel better.

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The journals….his is much better–the leather one on the right, but mine travels easier….

Then I presented my dad with his “alternative” gift, a simple Star Wars calendar. I proceeded to test his reaction to the wool I was using by thrusting the entire skein into his hand. If it made him itch, I’d have a positive and he could wash the itch off quickly. I showed him the right mitt and had him try it on. Turns out, it’s better suited for my hand than his, which I feared. He was not fully aware of the mittens, so this gift was not an entire bust, thankfully. I might be able to get off the naughty bench for this year. I’ll be sure to join you ladies (and perhaps some gentlemen) right back there next year!

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Bubble gum filled Naughty socks….the Nice sock was hidden in the bottom of the snowman….

Now that the big reveals are done and my nephew enjoyed his bubblegum filled socks… presented naughty one first (because the kids really are a chip off the old aunt block….don’t tell them I admitted to anything near old, but the block is old!), I’ve considered reflecting on the past year, but with all the deaths of legends, whether the returned home as the K theory in Men In Black suggests or they are simply gone, we’re begging for a kindler, gentler 2017, and thinking of sending 2016 off with a big bang…or one heck of a salute. It won’t matter to me, unless the big bang is in the gaming hell where I will hopefully be dealing a Carnival game rather than Black Jack.

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My happy break from work(except when I’m talking knitting with a Georgian(U.S.) knitter working on a Detroit Lions cowl before a tournament she attends once a year;-). (Squee moment from work).

Enough about work…there’s a reason Londoners, or Englishmen, in historical novels call it a gaming hell, and I’m not really done being naughty, and therefore am absolutely not prepared for reflection…February will be cold enough for that…. Plus, I’ve picked up some “shelved” projects and had others thrust upon me or requested.

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The other side of the socks….I still love this color.

Dear James had to fill my stocking after all, and when he got home from his last minute traditional shopping trip to my local yarn store, he reminded me that I’m expensive and told me he got me a new project…well, the yarn for it anyways….

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Dear James told me I didn’t have a matching scarf, hat and mittens…half acrylic…Now I’m left searching for a matching pattern….any suggestions?

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Reveal of the second sock for the kid willing to wear my Naughty or Nice stocking hat…;-)

Must Knit Faster

December 1, 2016

The third of four socks is done, but I chose not to cast on the fourth sock. I think I will take a break from the purple for two reasons…1) I wish for a simpler pattern and 2) I need to get a gift done. I should be careful about this, as it is a Christmas gift, but I don’t have to say who the recipient is and I’m not sure they’ll guess…I hope.

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Zeus, snuggling me while I knit…

Stop me now ladies and gentlemen…we all know these are famous last words. But They’ll still be a mystery while I’m knitting them up and I likely won’t photograph them completed until both are done…P.S. I’m still not sure I can get them done in time. We’ll find out.

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Side project…I finished half a repeat and have begun the increase for the gusset.

I cast them on last week once I cast off the purple socks. I’m wishing I’d left them on the size 2 needles, but then I’d be casting on another sock before Christmas. Time does not allow. In fact…I need this gift to be done before Christmas. Hint it’s not socks; still it is knit in the round. I’ve got another inch to go on this first knit 2, purl 2 rib…I want it done. I also have to get a good amount of sewing in.

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Shh…the sewing I was talking about…yes, it’s bright.

In addition, I’m still writing another paper this weekend and revising one, perhaps two. The second revision will depend on a Monday afternoon meeting. In the meantime, wish me speedy luck with recycled denim on aluminum needles. I’m really wondering if I would be further ahead to cut this off and re-cast on the size 2 needles. Oh, the conundrums.

New Year…Short New Post

January 1, 2016

Happy New Year! I hope your 2016 is better than your 2015;-).

 

I had promised photos of some super-secret gifts. I have gifted them, but hours are long and many this week and time off is short and highly limited this week. The good news is, though I didn’t quite get the knitting colors I wanted, I got new sock yarn that I just adore(even if my feet may sweat a little in it) and my needles are no longer naked.

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Some of my stocking stuffers…now I have to go pattern searching in the New Year…The darkest sock yarn is getting cabled…

The quilt did not get finished, but I’m back to making progress. The fuzzy dice are done, and I used brass thumb tacks for the pips on the dice. I believe I got some decent pics of this one.

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David’s fuzzy dice. Though he’s concerned about the stability of the tacks, he did try to test them on Lizzie’s ear…

However, I do not have pictures of Lizzie’s happy feet, but her first word when she saw her socks was “Pretty.” I’m glad she enjoyed them. I hope she continues to enjoy her hand-knitted socks.

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My Christmas tree, with the mini Christmas tree, which hid the soda in which I used the box to wrap marimba mallets (tightly wound yarn balls with a stick-I could make a fortune if I had more patience), fuzzy dice and a spare can of soda to add weight.

And my baby brother(don’t tell anyone I still call him that;-)), enjoyed his “t-shirt” re-created as a worded painting. It’s not by any means a masterpiece, nor is it stenciled, but it is a gift hand-made, that he can enjoy every day and made from the heart. That for me, is more Christmas than I see when giving semi-personal gifts bought at the store.

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“My t-shirt,” says John (a.k.a. baby brother;-))…oops, there I go again.

Though I admit, I bought Jessica’s gifts, but she’s highly into baking. I bought her baking supplies and put them into tins. She conned dear James into leaving the pan with the seven-layer or magic bars in it because she could return it with cookies in it. (It wasn’t like I didn’t give her four tins that would work for this!). But kids have their own methods of craftiness.